The University of Newcastle, Australia

Alerts Archive

One of the University of Newcastle's top priorities is to ensure that all members of the University community remain safe and well in the event of an incident or emergency. This page will be updated regularly with latest alerts and information, as they become available.

If you become aware of an incident and would like to report it please contact Security.


Novel Coronavirus Last updated: Thursday, 20th February 2020 - 12:32pm

Issued for: All locations

The University has been closely monitoring the current outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. We have no confirmed cases at our University. For the most up-to-date information, visit:

Australian Government: Department of Health coronavirus health alerts
Australian Government: Study Australia information for international students
NSW Government: NSW Health - Coronavirus updates and health information

Information for students

AskUON - for frequently asked questions about coronavirus and your study.

If you are affected by the situation relating to coronavirus, please email specialcircumstance@newcastle.edu.au. The dedicated response team will be able to assist you in managing your study commitments during this time.

Information sent to Semester 1 students in China – simplified Chinese

关于2020第一学期中国留学生的信息 - 简体中文

Information for staff

Staff-specific information is available on The Loop.
Please email healthandsafety@newcastle.edu.au if you need further assistance.

Latest updates

Last updated: Thursday 20 February 2020.

The Australian Government has announced on 13 February 2020, that travel restrictions will be maintained for a further 7 days from 15 February 2020. Details of these restrictions are available at: Australian Government Travel Advice. The Government is reviewing the situation on a weekly basis.

Based on updated advice from NSW Health, anyone who has travelled to Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore or Indonesia and develops symptoms on return (fever, acute respiratory infection e.g. shortness of breath or cough) should see a doctor for Coronavirus testing.

We look forward to our Chinese students joining us as soon as the travel restrictions are removed. These students provide an important element of diversity in our classrooms and we are planning for their return.

View previous updates on this topic – go to archive

Flexible terms as part of coronavirus response Last updated: Thursday, 6th February 2020 - 4:22pm

Issued for: All locations

As the global response to coronavirus continues, our University has been working around the clock to make sure we minimise the impact of this outbreak on our staff and students.

We have no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus at our University and we continue to implement the NSW Health advice and Australian Government Travel Advice to keep our people safe and well.

We will continue with our regular University operations for Trimester 1 (which has started) and Semester 1 (starts on 24 February).

We know that a significant proportion of our international students who were planning to study with us in these periods have been or will be unable to reach Australia to start their studies on time. To make sure they’re not disadvantaged by the travel restrictions, we’ve today announced flexible arrangements for Trimester 1 and Semester 1.

Flexible Trimester

We are offering eligible affected students enrolled in Trimester 1 a flexible trimester option. This allows eligible students (those unable to reach Australia due to the restrictions) to study remotely and if they do not pass their course they will be able to enrol again without academic or financial penalty.

Flexible Semester

We are offering eligible affected students enrolled in Semester 1 a flexible semester option. This will enable impacted students to start their term after the mid-semester break in April - later than the scheduled start date for Semester 1 - and still be able to progress their studies, in time to start Semester 2 if required.  We are also working to put course materials and course work online so that affected students will be able to access them remotely. When those students are able to come to Australia they will be given extra tuition at our University and allowed extra time for assessments and to study for examinations.

Students affected by the coronavirus situation who need advice can email specialcircumstance@newcastle.edu.au. The dedicated response team will be able to assist you in managing your study commitment during this time.

We are a large university. With around 37,000 enrolments each year at our University – comprising of around 2500 students from China - we continue to focus on delivering the best teaching and learning experience for all our students.

Please continue to monitor www.newcastle.edu.au/alerts for further updates.

View here for simplified Chinese information
此处查看简体中文信息

View our archive of updates on this subject

Novel Coronavirus Last updated: Wednesday, 5th February 2020 - 4:22pm

Issued for: All locations

The University has been closely monitoring the current outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. We have no confirmed cases at our University. Our approach to this global challenge is guided by:

Information for students

We have uploaded a series of FAQs to AskUON.

If you are affected by the situation relating to Coronavirus, please email specialcircumstance@newcastle.edu.au. The dedicated response team will be able to assist you in managing your study commitments during this time.

Information sent to Semester 1 students in China – simplified Chinese
关于2020第一学期中国留学生的信息 -  简体中文

Information for staff

Staff-specific information is available on The Loop.

Please email healthandsafety@newcastle.edu.au if you need further assistance.

Latest update

Statement from the University of Newcastle

Monday 3 February 2020

Following the Federal Government’s announcement that entry into Australia from, or through, mainland China is restricted to only Australian citizens and residents, the University of Newcastle is looking at a range of measures to ensure affected international students are able to undertake their studies with our University.

As the situation unfolds, the University is focusing our efforts on finding flexible solutions to ensure no-one is disadvantaged in terms of their studies.

We are looking at a range of measures – including a flexible start date for the semester - to help our affected international students commence or continue their studies with our University when travel restrictions are lifted.

We will provide more information in coming days as decisions are reached. <

Our international staff and students make a deeply valuable contribution to our University and local communities and we know this is a particularly worrying time for them and the broader University community.

Our University has always stood for equity and we appreciate the kindness and support that people continue to display towards those impacted by the Novel Coronavirus situation.

The University of Newcastle will continue to update students and staff as new information becomes available.

View our archive of updates on this subject

Update - Novel Coronavirus - Monday 3 February 2020 Last updated: Monday, 3rd February 2020 - 9:57pm

Issued for: All locations

The Federal Government’s weekend announcement that entry into Australia from, or through, mainland China is now restricted to Australian citizens and residents only.

The novel coronavirus is a complex issue for a range of agencies across Australia. As the situation unfolds, we are focussing our efforts on finding flexible solutions to ensure no-one is disadvantaged in terms of their studies. We are looking at a range of measures – including a flexible start date for the semester - to help our affected international students commence or continue their studies with our University when travel restrictions are lifted. We will provide more information in coming days as decisions are reached.  

We reconfirm that the Australian government has put a ‘do not travel to’ alert on mainland China. Staff must not travel to China at this time. We also strongly advise that you also avoid making new travel booking to or transitioning through Hong Kong or Singapore to ensure a smooth transition to your final travel destination. Please also ensure you have sufficient time to meet the likely additional airport screening processes in place. 

The University of Newcastle is a safe and welcoming community. Remember that others in our community may be dealing with a variety of issues, either directly or indirectly related to the novel coronavirus situation. Kindness and respect for one another will ensure that our community remains strong and true to our values at this time.

Update - Novel Coronavirus - Saturday 1 February 2020 Last updated: Saturday, 1st February 2020 - 7:39pm

Issued for: All locations

Today the Prime Minister announced that from 1 February, in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, entry into Australia from, or through, mainland China is restricted to only Australian citizens and residents.

These Australian citizens, residents and their dependents are asked to adhere to a 14 day isolation period since departure. Read the announcement by the Prime Minister.

The University of Newcastle will provide a response to this change on Monday 3 February.

Update - Novel Coronavirus - Thursday 30 January 2020 Last updated: Thursday, 30th January 2020 - 4:24pm

Issued for: All locations

The Australian Government has released the following advice for universities, their students and staff.

Update - Novel Coronavirus - Thursday 30 January 2020 Last updated: Thursday, 30th January 2020 - 9:30am

Issued for: All locations

The University has been closely monitoring the current outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, using the advice provided by NSW Health.

As of Wednesday 29th January, that advice has been updated and now recommends that:

  1. People who have been in Hubei Province of China must be isolated in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province.
  2. People who have been in contact with confirmed novel Coronavirus must be isolated in their home for 14 days following exposure.
  3. People may leave their home to attend medical care.   If you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms, please call your local Emergency Department for advice.

Any staff or student who has been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days should immediately notify Professor Liz Burd via email at Liz.Burd@newcastle.edu.au and to remain in their home until the 14 day period has passed. The University will be in contact with anyone impacted to provide support and advice as necessary.

This advice is highly precautionary, however to support our students, staff and community we are implementing this updated recommendation effective from today. Please note that unless a staff or student member meets one of the conditions above, they will be accepted to continue with activities as normal.

For your information please consider the following:

Managing and monitoring your health

As with any virus, we can minimise the spread by practising simple hygiene and washing our hands frequently.

Travel advice

All non-essential University travel to China is postponed until further notice.

More information and contacts

Further updates will be published at www.newcastle.edu.au/alerts

We have also uploaded a series of FAQs to AskUON. These will also be updated as required.

Should you have further questions or require advice:

  • Students: If you are affected by the situation relating to Coronavirus, please email specialcircumstance@newcastle.edu.au. The dedicated response team will be able to assist you in managing your study commitments during this time.
  • Staff: Please email healthandsafety@newcastle.edu.au who will be able to assist with work-related enquiries.

Novel Coronavirus – advice for our University community Last updated: Tuesday, 28th January 2020 - 2:30am

Issued for: All locations

Our University is closely monitoring the current outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus, which was confirmed to have reached NSW on the weekend. With staff and students from across the globe soon to arrive back on campuses, there are steps we can take to limit the opportunity for the virus to spread.

Australia has a very strong biosecurity response to manage these situations. The World Health Organisation and NSW Health both confirm that the risk of contracting the virus is extremely small without close contact.

Wuhan City and the Hubei region of China, from where the virus originated, has been closed to travel. We have made contact with students with home addresses in the affected regions to help them manage their study arrangements and obligations. We have also been in contact with staff who have been in the region to support them in their safe return to our campuses.

Anyone who was in the Wuhan region before it was closed to travel, or who feels they may be at risk, should make themselves known to the University for further advice and support. Staff and student contacts are included below.

Managing and monitoring your health

The virus has an incubation period of up to 14 days. For those who have been in contact with someone from Wuhan recently, please monitor your health closely. If you develop a fever and respiratory symptoms, please call your local Emergency Department for advice.

View Simplified Chinese information

As with any virus, we can minimise the spread by practising simple hygiene and washing our hands frequently.

We are following advice offered by NSW Health.

Travel advice

All non-essential University travel to China is postponed until further notice.

We are monitoring the Australian Government’s advice through smartraveller.gov.au regarding any other countries and will provide an update should the advisory levels change.

More information and contacts

Further updates will be published at www.newcastle.edu.au/alerts

We have also uploaded a series of FAQs to AskUON. These will also be updated as required.

Should you have further questions or require advice: